Ten Ukrainian playwrights offer, in this special evening, first draft histories of their lives as the war in Ukraine unfolds. Join the Museum and The Braid in person or virtually for this reading of plays in translation. This program is part of the Worldwide Ukrainian Play Readings Project. Proceeds from this event will be donated to HIAS’s Ukraine crisis response efforts.
Material Adapted and Curated by Ronda Spinak
Directed by Susan Morgenstern
Presenting plays by Elena Astaseva, Andriy Bondarenko, Bitaly Chensky, Oksana Grytsenko, Iryna Harets, Tetyana Kytsenko, Lena Lagushonkowa, Olga Matsiupa, Oksana Savchenko, and Liudmyla Tymoshenko.
Featuring performances by
JORDAN BIELSKY (Actor), from Rockaway Beach, cut his teeth working on Tennessee Williams and John Patrick Shanley plays. He has since been in numerous television shows and films, most recently as a Krav Maga Instructor in Get Shorty on EPIX and an ex-con on his way to a wedding in a film called Moving Violation. You’ve probably heard his voice in any number of Netflix projects, including Fauda and Money Heist. Most days, you can catch him walking around with his dog, Moxie, muttering to himself about his latest idea. Jordan is grateful for his breath, his family, and to be here sharing time with you all.
GEOFFREY CANTOR (Actor) This is Geoffrey’s second project with Braid. Best known as Ellison in Marvel’s Daredevil and The Punisher, Geoffrey has over 100 TV and film credits including Foundation, Maniac, The Deuce, Madam Secretary, House of Cards, The Americans, Damages, Sopranos, all of the Law & Order’s, Call Jane, Hail, Ceasar!, American Pickle, Man on a Ledge, and Public Enemies. Geoffrey has been seen on stages from New York to London, off-off to Broadway. He has been featured in web-series, television and radio commercials, audio books, including Motherless Brooklyn (Latham) and The Family (Laskin), and has voiced a number of video games. He has just finished directing NewYork Circa 1909 for the Olami Manhattan Theater Company, an original play about the Jewish immigration experience in NY at the Soho Playhouse. Geoffrey graduated from Amherst College, and trained at NTI and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
AMY GREENSPAN (Actor) is a New York transplant, born and raised in the Los Angeles Jewish community. She is so glad that The Braid has finally made its way east! Amy has performed on camera and on stage in New York, Los Angeles and around the country. Favorite credits include The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Tall Girls (La Jolla Playhouse), A Shayna Maidel, and The Glass Menagerie. www.amygreenspanonline.com.
ROSIE MOSS (Actor) is an Abby Freeman Artist-in-Residence at The Braid and has performed in past salon shows including Star-Spangled Sabra, Family Secrets, and Jews in America. Rosie starred in the feature film Blood Born and Lifetime Network’s digital series The Rookie. Her TV credits include appearances on ABC’s The Conners and Freeform’s Famous in Love. She originated the role of “Ela” in The Last Boy, last seen at New York’s Town Hall and “Sarah Kaufman” in the West Coast Jewish Theatre’s production of FUGU. When not performing, Rosie is a Jewish educator and B’nai Mitzvah mentor/officiant. BFA, Boston University. Keep up with Rosie at RosieMoss.com.
KATE ZENTALL (Actor) is proud to be an Abby Freeman Artist-in-Residence at The Braid, where she has appeared in something like 14 different shows. She has performed in many NYC venues, including the Public Theater, Guggenheim Museum, and Carnegie Hall. In LA, there’s been lots of Shakespeare, Irish plays, English comedies, and modern dramas, at the Taper and other companies around town, as well as movies and commercials plus a good deal of network TV, from series regular on Studio 5B to a recurring role on Hunter to guest spots on Cheers, Lou Grant, It’s a Living, Becker, LA Law, and many more. In recent years she has been a writer, communications manager, and editor—for magazines, books, blogs, websites, memoirs, and The Braid. As a recent grandmother to three-year-old Gracie, she reflects that all of the above take their place behind this awesome, blessed event.
RONDA SPINAK (Producer/Artistic Director) created The Braid’s Salon Theatre and has curated and produced 75 original Jewish-themed shows as well as adapted many of the pieces performed. Spinak developed and produced Not That Jewish, which ran for 16 months, garnered an LA Drama Critics Circle nomination, and then moved to a successful run off-Broadway. She also re-developed and produced Rain Pryor’s hit show Fried Chicken & Latkes. In January 2021, Spinak developed and produced Stories from the Violins of Hope, which the United Nations program on the Holocaust shared in 30 countries and which was also translated into Spanish and Portuguese for streaming to Latin America. Spinak co-wrote Stories from the Fringe, putting the stories of women rabbis on stage for the first time. Since then, she and her team have interviewed on videotape 185 national and international women rabbis, and in partnership with Jewish Women’s Archive have made many of the interviews available online at www.jwa.org. In 2022/23, the travelling art exhibition “Holy Sparks” features 24 Jewish women artists, each paired with one pioneering woman rabbi to create a work of art based on that rabbi’s words and life. Spinak is on the board of the Alliance for Jewish Theatres and is a member of the Dramatists Guild. She feels blessed to be working with so many creative people at The Braid.
SUSAN MORGENSTERN (Director/Producing Director) began directing in college by staging musical-theatre concert readings while co-teaching American musical comedy with Tom Lehrer at UC Santa Cruz. She went on to teach and direct at the renowned Stage Door Manor, a performing-arts camp in upstate New York. Los Angeles productions: Theatre West: selections from All in the Timing; the musicals Just Too Cool, Saturday Night at Grossinger’s, as well as the play, The Socialization of Ruthie Shapiro. Falcon/Garry Marshall Theatre – Leap; Surviving Sex; the hit comedy The Psychic. Whitefire Theatre – Memorizing Rome. Skylight Theatre – an extended run of the acclaimed comedy, Reasons to Live. In addition, Susan directed Happy Days, a New Musical, for Cabrillo Music Theatre. She co-authored and directed 18 Minutes of Fame: A Musical Journey with Barbara Minkus, which has played in Los Angeles and NYC. Susan has worked as a consultant show director at Disneyland Parks and Resorts, Anaheim, where she has the privilege of working with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and all their pals. She’s directed numerous Braid salon shows and is especially proud to be its producing director, working closely with a tremendous group of brilliant and passionately creative people.